According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, becomes virtually instantly nonviable when deposited on a cash banknote, news agency PTI reported.
The study shows that using credit and debit cards instead of cash as a virus prevention strategy is not recommended. The researchers also discovered that the virus is more stable on plastic money or cards, with live viral detection 48 hours after its initial deposition.
According to the researchers, no viable virus was found on the cash or cards that were randomly collected for the sample.
The researchers collected a collection of $1 bills, quarters, pennies and credit cards and inoculated them with SARS-CoV-2. After that, samples of cash, and coins were taken and analysed for virus detection at four different times: 30 minutes, 4 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours.
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After 30 mins after being placed on the dollar bills, the researchers discovered that SARS-CoV-2 was difficult to detect. The virus was decreased by 99.9993 per cent within 30 minutes, as per the study. The researchers tested the banknotes again after 24 and 48 hours and still no virus was detected.
The researchers were surprised that after putting nearly one million viruses on the banknotes, they still couldn’t find any after 24 hours.
However, in the case of cards, the virus was only reduced by 90 per cent on money cards in 30 minutes and was detected even after the span of 48 hours later, even though the decrease rate had climbed to 99.6 per cent after four hours and 99.96 per cent after 24 hours.
The coin somewhat had similar results to the plastic money cards with a significant reduction in virus and still tested positive for the live virus after 24 and 48 hours.
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(With inputs from agencies)